He has got it all! Ryan Reynolds is an A-list Hollywood celebrity, who is rich, handsome and known for his sarky sense of humour. Nothing about the dashing actor hints at him being a nervous wreck.
But the 'Deadpool' star took everyone by surprise when he opened up about his lifelong battle with anxiety in an interview with the New York Times as the United States observes Mental Health Month.
“I have anxiety, I’ve always had anxiety,” Reynolds told journalist Cara Buckley. “Both in the lighthearted ‘I’m anxious about this’ kind of thing, and I’ve been to the depths of the darker end of the spectrum, which is not fun.”
As a child, the actor had a difficult relationship with his father, whom he referred to as “the stress dispensary in our house.”
Reynolds tried his best to ensure that nothing irked his policeman father, be it by keeping the house immaculately clean or mowing the lawn.
“I became this young skin-covered micromanager,” he said. “When you stress out kids, there’s a weird paradox that happens because they’re suddenly taking on things that aren’t theirs to take on.”
That being said, Reynolds says he has no qualms about his childhood. He loved his father so much that he has named his daughter after him.
But the anxiety from his childhood seems to have followed Reynolds into the present. Reynolds revealed to the interviewer that even today he gets overcome with “dread and nausea before every talk-show appearance and becomes quite convinced he might die.” Even before the New York Times interview, he had barely eaten all day, because “interviews for profiles make him crazy jittery too.”
So how does this popular actor fight this debilitating condition? Reynolds finds some relief in doing interviews while staying character. “When the curtain opens, I turn on this knucklehead, and he kind of takes over and goes away again once I walk off set,” he said. “That’s that great self-defense mechanism, I figure if you’re going to jump off a cliff, you might as well fly.” Reynolds also revealed that he uses a meditation app to keep himself calm and collected.
Anxiety affects millions of people each year and only about one third actively seek assistance. Hopefully, Reynolds' heartfelt admission will encourage many more, who are struggling with the condition, to realise the problem and seek treatment.